Purgatorio Canto XVII

Purgatorio 17

But as before the sun, which weighs upon our eyes,
veiling its form in an excess of light,
so, before him, my power of sight fell short.

vv. 52-54

Third Ledge: the Wrathful. – Issue from the Smoke. – Vision of examples of Anger—Ascent to the Fourth Ledge, where Sloth is purged—Second Nightfall—Virgil explains how Love is the root of Virtue and of Sin.

The light of the sun appears through the dissipating smoke, now “on the verge of setting.” Dante wonders what sets off the spark of imagination and explains it to the reader. He explains that even when we are not using our senses, divine light inspires us. He sees, like in the visions from Canto XV, various figures: Procne transformed into a bird; next, one scornfully dying on a cross; third, a girl “weeping bitterly.” After a bright light appears, an angel shows Dante the way upwards. Although he wants to see who is speaking to him, he still cannot bear the light. They climb to the next terrace and stop. Dante asks what kind of sinners this terrace contains, and Virgil responds obliquely, explaining that there are two kinds of love, the natural and the mental. The natural never errs, while the mental is born in humans and can err. These sinners, rather than have corrupt mental loves, were insufficiently zealous in pursuing natural love, which is to say the love of God. Virgil asserts that ultimately all sins and virtues are manifestations of love, whether for evil or for good. Ending mysteriously, Virgil states that “excessive love which gives itself to that / is mourned above us in three circles. / Exactly how its parts are three I do not say, / so that you may consider for yourself.”

Riassunto in inglese tratto da https://www.gradesaver.com/divine-comedy-purgatorio

Canto adopted by Unicredit Banca.

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